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Infoplease - This Day in History 

Jul 31, 1498: Columbus arrived at the island of Trinidad.

Jul 31, 1790: The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a process of making fertilizer.

Jul 31, 1954: Mount Godwin-Austen (K2), the world's second-highest peak, was climbed for the first time, by an Italian team led by Ardito Desio.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 31

Jul 30, 1932: The tenth modern Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.

Jul 30, 1956: The phrase "In God We Trust" was adopted as the U.S. national motto.

Jul 30, 1980: The Republic of Vanuatu, formerly known as the New Hebrides, gained its independence from France and Britain.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 30

Jul 29, 1958: President Eisenhower signed the congressional act that created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was authorized by Congress.

Jul 29, 1968: In Humanae Vitae (of Human Life), Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Catholic Church's prohibition on artificial methods of birth control.

Jul 29, 1981: Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, married Lady Diana Spencer.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 29

Jul 28, 1540: King Henry VIII of England's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, was executed and Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

Jul 28, 1821: Peru declared its independence from Spain.

Jul 28, 1868: The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which established the citizenship of African Americans and guaranteed due process of law, was ratified.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 28

Jul 28, 1940: Bugs Bunny made his debut in the cartoon A Wild Hare.

Jul 28, 1953: An armistice was signed ending the Korean War.

Jul 28, 1861: Union general George B. McClellan was put in command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 28

Jul 26, 1788: New York became the 11th state in the United States.

Jul 26, 1847: Liberia became Africa's first republic.

Jul 26, 1908: The Office of the Chief Examiner, which in 1935 became the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was created.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 26

Jul 25, 1952: Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States.

Jul 25, 1978: The world's first test-tube baby, Louise Joy Brown, was born in Lancashire, England.

Jul 25, 1984: Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space.

More events from This Day in History: Jul 25

Jul 25, 1866: Tennessee became the first Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.

Jul 25, 1862: Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, died in Kinderhook, N.Y.

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